M/W

To accommodate growth, Watco has more than doubled the size of its Safe Performance Center, boosting the number of employees who can receive on-site training there each day from 40 to 150.

Small-Road Briefs: Watco, FGA

Watco has completed a $3 million expansion of its Fairfield, Ala.-based training center. Also, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has awarded $3.2 million to Okaloosa County to expand roads, rail lines and utility infrastructure at the Shoal River Ranch industrial mega site, to be served by the Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad (FGA).

FRA reported on May 19 that more than 70,000 inspections were conducted in FY 2021 to assess railroad compliance with regulations and laws that govern track, motive power and equipment, operating practices, signal and train control, hazardous materials, grade crossing signal system safety, industrial hygiene, and safety management systems.

FRA Issues FY21 Safety Enforcement Report

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released its annual enforcement report summarizing the regulatory compliance inspections and audits conducted in the past fiscal year by FRA or state inspectors participating in FRA’s rail safety program, as well as the civil penalty enforcement actions arising from them.

Rail Insights 2022: Oberman, Itzkoff to Talk Freight Service

At Railway Age’s Eighth Annual Rail Insights Conference, to be held virtually June 23, Surface Transportation Board Chair Martin J. Oberman will cover freight railroad service, reciprocal switching, supply chain congestion, labor shortages and Amtrak access—among the controversial issues the Board has been addressing during recent hearings.

STB on Dec. 15, 2021 approved the Uinta Basin Railway. Its Office of Environmental Analysis last summer issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project, identifying the 88-mile Whitmore Park Alternative as the environmentally preferred route, one of three analyzed.

Builders Selected for Uinta Basin Railway

AECOM, Skanska-Clyde Joint Venture and Obayashi Corporation have landed the final engineering and construction contracts for Uinta Basin Railway, slated to serve the mineral, energy, agricultural, construction and manufacturing industries in northeastern Utah.

Gulf Coast Battle: An Interim Report

The witness phase of the slugout between Amtrak on one side and CSX, Norfolk Southern (NS) and the Port of Mobile on the other, ended May 12 as its 11th day concluded. It ended not with T.S. Eliot’s oft-quoted “whimper” but truly with a bang.

“Like many companies in the transportation industry, VIA Rail continued to face the impacts of the various waves of the pandemic,” Chief Financial Officer Marie-Claude Cardin reported. “Nonetheless, as we have always done over the past two years, we found ways to strike a balance between our important public service mandate while proactively managing the financial impacts on our operations.” (VIA Rail)

VIA Rail Releases 2021 Annual Report

“Despite the upheaval caused by the pandemic, we have successfully pursued our strategic plan, including the unveiling of our new fleet and the advancement of the High Frequency Rail project,” VIA Rail Canada Board Chair Françoise Bertrand said upon release of the railroad’s 2021 Annual Report.